Skip to content
Winrock International

From Every Angle: Winrock’s Commitment to Water Security in Tanzania

Over the past 40 years, from the village level to the national stage, Winrock has partnered with Tanzanian communities, districts, water basin offices and the national government to build their capacity to plan, finance and deliver safe water services to more than 720,000 people.

The key to Winrock’s success has been coupling our expertise in water resource infrastructure with sustained, systems-level improvements to water access. Our approach builds partnerships and accountability between the multiple layers of water governance, from water users to communities to the national government.

In recent years these efforts have been scaled up district-wide across Tanzania through partnerships with local government authorities and the Rural Water and Sanitation Agency (RUWASA) under WARIDI, and at the basin level across the Mara Basin under USAID’s Sustainable Water Partnership, both implemented by Winrock.

These improvements have made a major impact on the lives of beneficiaries such as Lavina Venance. “I now have easy access to clean water less than 10 minutes away from my house,” Venance said. “As a result, we now have as much water as we need, whenever we need it.”

Winrock’s work in Tanzania addresses the next layer of water governance and strengthening community management structures by coupling institutional strengthening with construction and rehabilitation of water infrastructure. At the center of this approach are Community-Owned Water Supply Organizations, (COWSOs), which manage and operate water infrastructure. By coupling COWSO establishment and operational support with technical assistance and infrastructure development, Winrock’s work has enabled these local organizations to improve water service delivery, reliability and revenue collection for over 50 schemes. Under the country’s new Water Act, COWSOs will be key to sustainably scaling water service delivery to many more Tanzanians.

“Because of the project’s contributions, we are able to further our mission in bettering the lives of the communities through enhanced access to potable water,” said Iringa Water Supply and Sanitation Authority Managing Director Gilbert Kayange. “Your support has helped us to equally increase the water network system and customer base.”

Winrock provides further support through science-based decision-support tools. These tools have enabled Winrock to help Tanzania’s ministries develop the country’s first water allocation plan. “This water allocation plan is an important milestone in the process of forging a harmonized plan between Tanzania and Kenya to cooperatively manage this important resource,” said Lake Victoria Basin Commission Executive Secretary Dr. Ally-Said Matano.

Winrock remains committed to scaling up water access for all Tanzanians by building strong water governance institutions at the community, district, basin and national levels. “The thing I am most proud of,” said Muganyizi Ndyamukama, Water Services Technical Lead in Tanzania, “is that we are improving the lives of people.”